Winter hideaways

Whenever the colder weather and darker nights linger, our daydreams often fluctuate between two very different types of winter escape – the snowy slopes and sun soaked beaches. We’ve rounded up a selection cold and warm destinations to tickle your taste buds for a change of scenery.

Whether retiring, downsizing, or having the option to work remotely, the dream of owning a winter hideaway may be taken up by more people, as lives and lifestyles are re-evaluated against the harsh realities of rising interest rates, fuel bills and the grey skies of a British winter.

Buying overseas is not only an opportunity to follow the heart but can offer a sound investment too. Whilst potentially providing some capital growth, rental yields of 4-7% are not unreasonable in good locations, earning you money whilst you’re not there, contributing to maintenance and running costs.

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Western Algarve | Portugal

Friendly Portugal is one of Europe’s safest countries, offering a stable economy, whilst enjoying a lower cost of living than the UK. With 3,000 hours of sunshine a year, Portugal boasts a Mediterranean climate of warm summers and mild sunny winters, averaging 16°C January to February. 100km west from accessible and well-served Faro airport, sits Vila do Bispo, one of the few areas in the Algarve that qualifies for Golden Visa, as it is considered a low density area. Attractions here include sea, surf, beach, historic sites, paragliding, gastronomy, golf and hiking.

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St James | Barbados

Prices in Barbados have held, and the popularity of the island amongst high net worth individuals, particularly from USA, Canada and the UK, remains undented. Laid back lifestyle, white sandy beaches, stylish amenities and temperatures December to April averaging 30°C, contribute to the draw. With no capital gains tax in Barbados, and rental and property management services also available, this could be a real one stop, stress-free solution to meet all criteria.

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Vaujany | Isere

Vaujany in Isere is a classy working village with traditional shops, bars and restaurants, around which a family friendly ski resort was created in the 1980s with access to Alpe D’Huez. Only 50km from Grenoble, it’s a quick transfer and possible to enjoy at weekends, and there are shuttle and bus links to Vaujany in addition to the car or taxi options. This is an attractive, family friendly, year round resort, so your chalet can be let out in the summer months if climbing, hiking and cycling aren’t your thing. Alpe D’Huez is home to La Sarenne, the longest black piste in the Alps, although there is excellent skiing closer to Vaujany for beginners and intermediaries too. There are trails for cross-ski and Nordic skiers. When not on the mountain, the village is home to an established leisure centre which includes an Olympic sized ice skating rink. There is one free entry with a six day ski pass!

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Dubai | United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates is in the top three richest countries in the world. The Emirate of Dubai has been developed to impress and attract success, becoming one of the top 30 wealthiest cities in the world, with 13 billionaires, 202 Centi-millionaires and some 60,000 millionaires in residence according to a recent report. Standards are high, and over 85% of the population are expats and it is possible to buy property as a foreigner in designated freehold areas. Dubai is a place that is respectful of privacy, and it's considered a family friendly, safe place to be. It has the world’s largest destination for shopping, leisure and entertainment at Dubai Mall, the world’s highest infinity pool, the largest suspended Aquarium, as well as the largest indoor theme park… the list goes on. You can even snow ski there, year round at the indoor resort.

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El Náutico, Tenerife | Spain

Britons have long populated Spain’s Canary Islands in Winter, both short haul sun seekers and expats. Flight options stay high from UK during winter, and it’s now popular year round, shaking off its early budget package image for one more associated with activities and wellness, good food and some sophistication. The charming harbour and fish restaurants of Los Abrigos are a short seafront stroll away.

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Liguria | Italy

Traditionally Liguria, the Italian Riviera, is a winter location enjoyed by both Italians and Europeans. While Nice on the French Riviera is established in history and literature for its winter visitations by British upper classes, and a recommended tonic for the infirm during Queen Victoria’s reign, the coastal city of San Remo to the north west of Liguria proved a popular destination as well, especially for those hoping to avoid the English winter. Liguria has the most blue flag beaches in Italy (32) and the coves, clear waters, maritime villages and mild coastal climate continue to draw visitors and residents from overseas. Fly from the UK to Nice, then San Remo can be reached by car in 45 minutes, or there are railway links giving options. The town is very accessible, year round and English speakers are well received.